Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Updates, New Stuff and Other Assorted Mishaps.

Some photos of different projects completed recently.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Upcoming Projects

Several of the projects that the Corps has asked us here at the Quartermasters, to supply.

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 An early drawing of a Federal Battery. Publishing date of the drawing in Illustrated London Times of June 22, 1861. Ocean crossing taken into account to get the drawing to the engraver in London would place this being drawn in April or early May of 1861. The war at this point being only weeks old.

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CSA Balloon car as used in the Seven Days Battle near Richmond.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Wanderer

 When I was young, I would watch the TV show, "Wild Wild West" (1965-1969). The era the program was set in was the "Reconstruction" period in USofA history. But the most important part, or cast member, of the show was the train "The Wanderer". The TV producers used the "Inyo" for their version of The Wanderer which pulled the "Nimrod" and a combine in which US Secret Service Agents, James West (Robert Conrad) and Artemus Gordon (Ross Martin) served President Grant stopping all manner of nefarious characters bent on disrupting the U.S. Government. The diamond stacked "Inyo" is owned by the California Rail Museum.

In 1999, a Big Screen version of the Wild Wild West was released featuring Will Smith as Agent James West and Kevin Kline as Artemus Gordon. The part of "The Wanderer" was played by the "William Mason" which is owned by the B&O Railroad Museum. I will NOT get into the relative shortfalls of the movie, suffice to say that I do enjoy "Steam Punk" but after cutting my teeth on the TV production, the movie seemed a tad too fanciful.

I painted AHM "Oldtime" Coach and Combine cars brown and installed a PC motherboard battery holder inside to light the cars without the need for track voltage. A micro switch accessible through the clerestory  windows provides control of lighting. The combine has a single lighting circuit for illumination of the cars interior, The coach has a dual circuit for separate control of interior and EOT marker lights.

The Wanderer itself is a Mantua General. I dissembled it and ground the name plate (General) from the sides of the boiler. The cab weight was removed and a new lead weight fashioned to allow for a see through cab and room for the engineer Orin Cobb was the name of the Wanderer's engineer in the TV series. The stock wood load was scraped of and I used twigs form the yard cut to scale lengths and "heaped" onto the surface of the tender for better appearance. Dilute white glue holds the load in place. Then it was just a matter of looking at the photo of the William Mason in Wanderer paint and duplicating it. My green is a couple shades too light. Next time I use a dark primer to darken the top coat. The decals were applied and then the whole thing was overshot with a coat of clear to seal the decals in place and hide the decal lines. The antlers above the head lamp are made from twist tie wire, twisted and shaped, then dipped into Buff color paint a couple times to simulate the look of dried antler. The weather tarp at the rear of the cab was made from a used tea bag. I liked the color and texture of the bag after making a pitcher of Sun Tea. The front number plate is a tiny washer JB welded to the front of the boiler, smoothed, painted and decal applied. The flags on the pilot are hand drawn with colored pencil on cigarette paper and wrapped around a pin mounted on the pilot. I left the stock motor alone for this model. Being my first attempt at reworking a locomotive, I used this as a learning tool for my next locomotive projects.

My sincere thanks to Al Mueller for his book on reworking the Mantua General.